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Manipur and Odisha through to Junior National Football Championship Finals

2015 Junior National Championship for U-18 Girls
2015 Junior National Championship for U-18 Girls

Photo courtesy: Goa Football Association

Manipur and Odisha have won their semifinal matches at the 2015 Junior National Championship for U-18 Girls taking place in Goa.

Manipur and Odisha will clash in the Grand Final on October 21, 2015 at Rosary Sports Complex, Navelim witn kick-off schedules for 19.30 IST.


Semifinal 1 | Manipur 4-2 Delhi

Manipur got past Delhi with a convincing 4-2 victory in the first semifinal played at Rosary Sports Complex, Navelim to reach the Grand Final of the Junior Football Championship for U-18 Girls.
In-form Kashmina gave Manipur the lead in the 4th minute of play with a fine goal. The Manipur team boasting of ten international players was no match for Delhi and dominated proceedings from kick-off. Manipur played a very entertaining game and distributed the ball well among its ranks.
W. Ranjibala Devi scored a rapid fire hat-trick with goals in the 33rd, 35th and 43rd minute of play to give Manipur a commanding 4-0 lead going into the half-time break. The three quick goals dampened the Delhi spirits going into the break.
The second half saw a lot of midfield action with Delhi pressing hard to pull a goal back led by their charismatic forward Anushka Samuel. Manipuri midfielders Omita Chanu, Hemolata Devi, Premi Chiru and Ranjana Chanu kept control of the ball and denied the Delhi midfielders Prerana Negi, Chetna Dhadwal and Meghna Arora any chance to move the ball forward.
Manipur lost little focus in the last ten minutes of play and Anushka Samuel scored two late goals in the 84th and 90+3rd minute to give Delhi some consolation with the final score reading 4-2 in favour of Manipur.
Delhi bowed out with their heads held high having had a good end to their gritty performance and fine campaign throughout the tournament.

Semifinal 2 | Odisha 4- 1 Bihar

Odisha stormed into the finals of the Junior National Football Championship for U-18 Girls with a resounding 4-1 victory over Bihar in the second semifinal played at Raia Panchayat Ground, Raia.
Odisha took an early lead with Swarnapriya Nayak scoring a goal in the 7th minute of play to seize control of the game. Suman Pragyan Mohapatra and Jasmani Samad combined really well upfront for Odisha and put a lot of pressure on the Odisha defense from the opening whistle.
Bihar were given very little room to move and were no match for the Odisha strong midfield players Sasmita Behera, Anima Malik, Arati Sethi and Swarna Priya Nayak who controlled the tempo of the entire match. Laxmi Munda marked Bihar star forward Tara Khatoon very well and cut her long runs down the right flank which had terrorized teams in the earlier encounters. Odisha captain Anima Malik made some really good passes to the forwards, sometimes putting the ball through 2-3 defenders and finding her team-mates upfront on the run to perfection.
One of these passes found Jasmani Samad who scored a goal for Odisha in the 34th minute to put Odisha ahead with a comfortable margin of 2-0.
Bihar got a lucky break against the run of play with a penalty resulting from a hand-ball. Shama Rani made no mistake from the spot and pulled one goal back for Bihar in the 37th minute of play. The half-time score read 2-1 in favour of Odisha.
The second half saw a total dominance of Odisha and the ball was mostly played in the Bihar territory. Odisha has one of the strongest defense line in this tournament with Janaki Murmu and Jabamani Tudu having a towering effect while conceeding only two goals in the quarterfinal league – the least among the eight teams that had made it to this stage of the tournament.
Shyama Rani worked tirelessly for Bihar and kept pushing the ball forward and driving her team to score a goal. Jasmani Samad got her second goal in the 68th minute to give Odisha a 3-1 lead with little over 20 minutes left on the clock. Odisha plays a proper team game and distributes the ball well among the team members.
Susan Pragyan Mohapatra put the icing on the cake for Odisha with a strong volley to put the ball in the back of the net in the 79th minute for the final score of 4-1 to propel Odisha to the final.